Barcelona have confirmed the signing of Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund for a club record transfer fee. Real Madrid were also said to be monitoring the France starlet but the Catalans have won the race for his signature after agreeing to make him the second most expensive player in history in a deal worth €105m (£96.8m, $125m) plus add-ons.
Dembele, 20, was heavily linked with Barcelona last summer when the Catalans were looking for a versatile forward to serve as back-up for the MSN trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
However, the France international decided to join Dortmund from Rennes instead, amid concerns that his playing time at the Nou Camp was going to be limited.
Dembele continued his impressive development at the Bundesliga side, scoring 10 goals and grabbing 21 assists in 49 appearances in his first season in Germany.
However, several publications such as Mundo Deportivo, Onda Cero and L'Equipe reported earlier this month that the Catalans could face competition from Real Madrid after Zinedine Zidane identified his compatriot as a cheaper alternative to Kylian Mbappe.
Some reports suggested that Real Madrid only wanted to inflate his price to disrupt their rivals' transfer plans, but Onda Cero claimed the interest from Los Blancos was genuine – and that they were even using Predrag Mijatovic, who previously advised on transfers for the club, to win the race thanks to his good relationship with Dembele's agent Moussa Sissoko.
Arsenal and Manchester United have also been briefly linked with the player during the current summer transfer window but Barcelona have managed to beat them all by parting with a sizeable chunk of the money generated by Neymar's sale to PSG.
"FC Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund have reached an agreement for the transfer of Ousmane Dembélé for €105m plus add-ons. The player will sign a five year contract and his buy out-clause is set at €400m," the La Liga side confirmed through an official statement.
"Dembélé will arrive in Barcelona on Sunday and he will undergo a medical on Monday morning local time. Shortly, more details of the running order of the player's presentation on Monday will be available."
While reports in Spain suggest that the final fee could rise to around €145m with the add-ons, the fee is considerably less than the one that took Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain but exceeds the £89m (€96.7m) that Manchester United paid to bring Paul Pogba back to Old Trafford last summer.
Dembele becomes the club's the fifth signing of the summer following the arrivals of Paulinho, Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu and Marlon Santos.
Now Barcelona officials are expected to step up the pursuit of Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho to complete their summer overhaul.